Document Detail

Prospective evaluation of two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography in emergency department patients with suspected pulmonary embolism.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11043994     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To prospectively examine the diagnostic accuracy of two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography (2-D echo) in emergency department (ED) patients being evaluated for acute pulmonary embolism (PE). METHODS: This was a 14-month prospective observational trial of a convenience sample of ED patients undergoing evaluation for suspected PE at a suburban teaching hospital. The 2-D echo was defined as positive if any two of the following were noted: right ventricular dilation, abnormal septal motion, loss of right ventricular contractility, elevated pulmonary artery or right ventricular pressures, moderate to severe tricuspid regurgitation, or visualization of a clot seen in the right ventricle or pulmonary artery. The patient was considered to have a PE if one of the following was positive: a pulmonary angiogram, contrast helical computed tomography, a magnetic resonance angiogram, a high-probability ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) scan without contradictory evidence, or an intermediate-probability V/Q scan with ultrasonic evidence of deep venous thrombosis. RESULTS: Of 225 cases identified, 39 met the defined criteria for PE (17%). A 2-D echo was performed on 124 patients (55%), of whom 27 (22%) had PE. In 20 patients the 2-D echo had at least two indicators of right ventricular strain; however, only 11 of these patients had confirmed pulmonary embolus. The 2-D echo had a sensitivity of 0.41 (95% CI = 0.32 to 0.49) and a specificity of 0.91 (95% CI = 0.86 to 0.96). The likelihood ratio positive was a moderately strong 4.4, with a weak likelihood ratio negative of 0.6. CONCLUSIONS: Bedside 2-D echo is not a sensitive test for the diagnosis of PE in ED patients. Positive findings moderately increase the suspicion for PE but are not diagnostic.
R E Jackson; R R Rudoni; A M Hauser; R G Pascual; M E Hussey
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Academic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1069-6563     ISO Abbreviation:  Acad Emerg Med     Publication Date:  2000 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-11-21     Completed Date:  2000-11-21     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9418450     Medline TA:  Acad Emerg Med     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  994-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Cardiology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Emergency Service, Hospital
Likelihood Functions
Middle Aged
Prospective Studies
Pulmonary Embolism / ultrasonography*
Sensitivity and Specificity

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